Cutting Out the Cable Middleman

Cutting out the Cable Middleman: The TV industry keeps going back and forth on cord cutting. It will downlplay the idea of mass numbers of consumers giving up cable to get their content via the Web, but then they act very defensively about the prospect. The numbers can be cut both ways. Some more ammunition for the cord cutters comes with estimates that 5 percent of pay TV users have given it up altogether. This is believable to me. I gave up cable three months ago and haven’t noticed a difference. Three of the six people I had dinner with tonight had also cut the chord. Admittedly it was a New York media gathering. But still. At this moment, the value cable provides is arguably not worth it when compared to the alternatives with the Web. I’d love to think the TV industry would simply adjust its pricing. The more likely route is a rear guard action against free content online, which is what you’re seeing with Hulu. The hope is moves like HBO Go will give consumers new ways to get content while cutting out the middleman.

Tweet of the Day: “Late evening with Col. Qadhafi at his “ranch” in Libya – interesting meeting with an interesting man.” John McCain, 2009. Twitter has a long memory, as the Senator is finding out.
The Collaboration Imperative: If ad agencies were kindergarten students, they’d regularly get time-outs. Their problems is they can’t seem to work together well. This is a familiar lament on the client side — I heard it again last night — but completely understandable. The agency compensation model doesn’t reward collaboration but an agency getting as much work from a client as possible. It is almost always a zero-sum game. Ty Montague, former JWT co-president and founder of Co, points out this approach is antithetical to dealing with future marketing problems. It’s a tempting view of the future, yet it will take more than a cultural shift within agencies to make it happen. They probably need their pay to hinge on collaboration.

Collaboration is the New Competition: With that spirit, Digiday is excited to use a new collaboration platform from SheSays to drive the redesign and reimagination of our website. Our brief just went live to the SheSays community of talented designers. We’re excited to see what ideas come from the SheSays platform.

The StumbleUpon Mystery: StumbleUpon is the social media heavyweight that gets less attention than it deserves. When it comes to social media traffic, publishers and brands tend to think more about Facebook, Twitter and even LinkedIn before StumbleUpon. But some eye-opening numbers shows just how much traffic StumbleUpon drives. According to StatCounter, StumbleUpon drives half of all social media referral traffic. This is, in part, based on product design. StumbleUpon is nothing more than a referral engine. It takes users from page to page on a voyage of discovery. The problem is traffic quality. There’s little doubt a social referral from Twitter or Facebook, which functions as an endorsement, would be more valuable than a random visitor dumped on your site via StumbleUpon.

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